Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Mike's Letter

September 1st, 1998 12:00 AM

Coup D'Etat, Phase One

I hate to say it, but I don't think Clinton is long for this presidency.

I have a lot of problems with Clinton and his policies -- he's helped the rich get richer than ever before at the expense of a lot of people who have seen their American Dream go up in smoke. He has rarely had the courage of his convictions and he has somehow lost his way, forgetting the working class roots from which he came. I voted for him the first time, refused to the second time, and have spent the last eight months disgusted by the media, Ken Starr, Orrin Hatch, and anything on MSNBC.

A person's private life -- their sex life -- is absolutely nobody's business as long as the sex is between adults and it is consensual. Period. I think that's how most Americans feel and that's why people have been generally sympathetic to Clinton's plight. His private mistakes are, as he said, between himself and his wife. (Though I would like to be a fly on the wall and watch her kick his ass around the West Wing of the White House.) I hope that before she agreed to save him politically, she extracted some concessions from him ("Yeah, Bill, I'll put on a good face as long as you, a) Get a decent universal health care law passed this year, b) Repeal NAFTA, c) Raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, and d) Support a woman for president in the next election.").

Monica, Monica, Monica -- On the one hand, when you're the boss, you have no business messing around with the 21-year old interns. On the other hand, here she was out in L.A., telling her friends she was going to Washington to get her "Presidential kneepads" and, lo and behold, she got 'em. This is why I love America -- that any kid can dream "I'm going to get naked with the President"...and that dream can actually come true. What a great country!

Two other Monica thoughts: She, it seems, was damaged by her parents. When I heard that her father had taken her to a Vanity Fair pin-up sleaze shoot, I thought what father would drive his daughter to such a sick event? Her mother writes scuzzy books on things like the sex lives of the Three Tenors, and intimates in the publicity for the book that she might have slept with one of them. So if you're 16, and this is what you have to listen to mom talk about over dinner, what's going through your mind? "Ooooh, damn, mom slept with Pavarotti! How am I going to top that?!!!"

Also, that blue party dress from The Gap. It cost about $30. Who amongst the well-heeled of Brentwood and Beverly Hills shops at The Gap for a party dress to wear at the White House? If you ever get a chance to take a peek at their closets, they're filled with $500 dresses, not cheapo stuff from The Gap. Was this dress bought with the intention of a "one-time" use? Why did she keep the dress? I don't know. Maybe it makes sense. But sending it Fed Ex to her mother?

Excuse me? I don't know about you, but when something is accidentally semen-stained, I don't ship it off to mom with a little note asking her to hang on to it for me. Of course, I've sent very few of my dresses to my mother, but you get the picture.

Bottom line -- I don't care if Clinton lied when questioned about having sex with Lewinsky, because in my mind, it is more immoral to ask that question than to answer it untruthfully. You do not have to answer a question no one has a right to ask you. And I would like to see everyone in the media apply the same standard and the same question to themselves -- how would they like it if they had to tell the world they lied about sex? Who could pass such a litmus test? As Seinfeld said the other day, if lying hadn't been invented, there never would have been sex. He asked, doesn't anybody remember what it was like to be 21? There's "lying" when you're just trying to get sex, not to mention the "lying" that goes on during sex or after sex ("That was the best I've ever had! Really? Was it good for you? Yeah, me, too!") PLEASE! ENOUGH!

The real crisis that is about to happen is what I call the "Other Shoe Syndrome." With this syndrome, no one shoe, being dropped by itself, is enough to bring down the President. The shoe dropped with Lewinsky, and the public has not been moved. But that's not to say the public hasn't been affected. If the first shoe that is dropped takes so much energy to defend and so much of the public's energy to support, no one has the time, patience or energy to deal with a second shoe that gets dropped just as everyone is believing the worst is over.

Take Mike Barnicle as an example. He's the columnist for the Boston Globe who got caught plagiarizing jokes from George Carlin. The paper called for his resignation. The media went full tilt on the story. Many in the media went out on a limb to defend him and the calls poured into the Globe from its readers to save poor Mike. The Globe relented. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Then, boom -- the other shoe dropped. Some guy from the right wing nutty conspiracy paper called The Weekly Standard went on TV and said he found another lie in Barnicle's column from years ago. The public, the pundits and the Globe had had it. They could not find the energy to go through all this again. He was canned within hours.

I'm afraid the same is about to happen to Clinton. Though the country has breathed a sigh of relief after his "apology," it can not stand to go through another eight months of media hysteria on the other intern he I.R.'d (Inappropriate Relationship-ed). The other shoe could also be all the gory details that Ken Starr is about to release, like how Monica would come to the Oval Office on Sunday mornings to have sex with Clinton before he went to church, -- including Easter Sunday -- or the story of the masturbating cigar we've been privileged to read about in the sleazebag Post-- NY and Washington). Or how about the shoe that contains the dirty re-election money (from China?). Are there more shoes? Trust me, Starr and Congress have the goods, and the other shoe is about to drop. And everyone will say, "That's it, enough already, I can't take it anymore." We will have been so worn down, we will all say it's time for him to step aside because he's too distracted to do his job.

I think he's falling apart now as it is.

After two days in the doghouse on Martha's Vineyard, he was sick of sleeping on the couch, so one night (around 3:00 a.m., according to the New York Times ) he called his National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, and told him to launch about a hundred cruise missiles, saying something probably like, "'cause, dammit, I need at least one good night in a real bed!" Sure enough, in the morning, Clinton was back on a plane to D.C. for a decent night's sleep.

If you think my "Other Shoe" theory is wrong just listen to Clinton's supporters. They are backing away from him faster than a French retreat. Why? 'Cause they know what the other shoe is and how it's about to drop.

So, the moral of this little story is that the right wing is very good at digging into and spying on people's private lives. As a participant in the anti-war movement, Clinton should have known this. Starr and his gang have been trying to stage a de-facto coup d'etat. They are going to pull it off. That's what the right knows how to do best.

And are the rest of us headed back to the dark days of Reagan/Bush? Are you ready for that? Those in power are hoping you and the American public are so worn out from all the crap that you'll just sit out the next few elections so they can get their boys in office. If that happens, we will be far behind where we need to be --- returning this country to the citizens who it is supposed to belong to.

Michael Moore

The Awful Truth

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